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I came across something I’d written a few years ago and forgotten about. When I read it I remembered an old proverb I’d heard in high school that I love: ‘the faintest ink on paper is better than the best memory.‘. Unfortunately, I don’t follow this counsel as well as I should.

So the thing I came across was about an observation I made back in February of 2011. This is what it said:

It’s funny how things get turned around so that you end up being the receiver by being the giver.

For the better part of the last few weeks I’ve had the strongest yearning to once again have my head on my mother’s lap with her gently stroking my face and playing with my hair. My mother was incredibly hard-working and did everything by hand, including laundry and other hard physical labor, and yet, she had the most beautiful, soft hands. A few short hours before she slipped into the coma from which she would never regain consciousness, I had accidentally crawled on her foot as I made my way to baby Zoë who was sleeping beside her. I was apologizing profusely when she gently cupped my face and told me it was okay. It was the most comforting feeling in the world. It was also the last time she would touch me in this life.

So, with nostalgia looming over me as I yearned for my mother, I was sitting in Church on Sunday when my little Lola lay her head on my lap. I was absentmindedly playing with her hair and stroking her pretty cheeks when she raised her beautiful, large, brown eyes to me and smilingly said, ‘I love sleeping on your lap.’

I was jolted by her words as I realized that what I needed so desperately was something I was capable of sharing myself. And so it was, that I vicariously got what I yearned for by giving it away. Thanks to my little Lola for making my wish come true.

I’ve never stopped needing my mother, but sometimes, without knowing it, my little ones fulfill that need in a ring-a-round kind of way. A tender mercy, indeed.

I’m so grateful I stumbled across this little moment I had forgotten about.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

For now.